Is This Legal?

I hear that two very companies in London have an agreement not to hire each others staff whilst working on the same show. I’ve heard that this is happening not only in London, but across the pond, including the excellent VFXSoldier’s tweet that companies in the Bay Area “admit to colluding to prevent employees from switching jobs”

Firstly why would this happen? Well, lighters/animators/fx TDs may jump ship from company A to company B because company B are working on the better, nicer, cooler shots of the film and company A may be doing more mundane work.

Secondly, is this legal? Surely if someone did not get the job on the grounds of working for either company A or company B then it would be seen as discrimination?

Thoughts and opinions please!!

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One Response to Is This Legal?

  1. Yes, this is technically illegal (at least in the US) as seen by the investigation.
    Most businesses are sensitive to having employees ‘poached’ by their competition.
    Even more irritating is when an employee goes to another company, who then hires even more people from the original company, using info gleaned from their new employee.

    This is when most companies try to have an ‘understanding’ with their competition to not ‘poach’ each others employees. This means they don’t have to worry about losing key people nor do they have to worry about a price war that would drive up the wages.

    You can see this is a big win for the companies themselves but detrimental to the employees (hence the reason for the investigation)

    Part of the question is are they just asking their competitors to specifically not to call their people offering them jobs or would they actually turn down people even if the employee came to them? In either case the vfx artist loses some leverage to get a better wage or deal.

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